Bengaluru: Tuesday's cabinet expansion sprang more than one surprise. Besides the exclusion of some loyalists of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa from the list of ministers, even the order of those taking oath at the ceremony at Raj Bhavan raised a few eyebrows.
To the surprise of those present, former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, and senior leaders like K.S. Eshwarappa and R Ashok took oath as ministers after junior MLAs were inducted into the Cabinet .
The swearing- in, which was done in accordance with the list provided by the Chief Minister to the Raj Bhavan, saw junior MLAs, Dr. Ashwathnarayana and Laxman Savadi take oath as ministers in the second and third places respectively, followed by Mr. Eshwarappa, Mr Ashok and Mr Shettar.
The fact that Mr. Shettar came sixth in the line-up has surprised many BJP workers and leaders as they expected him to be the first to take oath in accordance with his seniority.
The order of the swearing-in of ministers has left many puzzled as it was not in alphabetic order either but in accordance with the list submitted by the Chief Minister to the Governor Monday night.
Sources close to Dr. Ashwathnarayan said that since he had taken oath in second position, he was now third in the Cabinet after the Chief Minister and Mr Govinda Karjol. But former Assembly Speaker, Omprakash clarified that junior legislators taking oath first was insignificant and did not reflect on the seniority of the ministers, which was independent of it and determind by the notification issued by the Governor.
However, this seemed of little comfort to Mr Shettar, Mr Ashok and Mr Eshwarappa who looked visibly upset at being called to take their oath after their juniors in the Cabinet....